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MOUSSAKA - BE IT ARMENIAN, GREEK, OR TURKISH, IT IS EGGPLANT AND IT IS DELICIOUS
This recipe is the Gutsy Gourmet's version of a most popular Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dish. It is a Middle Eastern version of lasagna without the pasta. Layers of meat and vegetables with a glorious Bèchamel sauce. And of course the star ingredient of this dish is eggplant.
This is probably the most famous of all eggplant dishes. It is the national dish of Greece and probably the number one comfort food of the Middle East. It is the showcase recipe for utilizing the wonderful flavor of eggplant paired with a variety of ingredients.
RECIPE PRINTED FROM: THEGUTSYGOURMET.NET©
INGREDIENTS: Serves 6 - 8
For the eggplant:
• 2 lbs. of globe or large Japanese eggplant
• 2 - 3 Tablespoons good olive oil
For the meat sauce:
• 1 pound ground lamb**See COOK'S NOTE
• 1 pound lean ground beef**See COOK'S NOTE
• 2 Tablespoons good olive oil
• 1 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes
• 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
• ½ cup dry white wine, wine you would drink, maybe a Chardonnay or a Riesling
• 2 - 3 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, fine dice
• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the Bèchamel sauce:
• 1 cup unsalted butter
• ⅓ cup all purpose flour
• 2 cups Half and Half (Cream & Milk)
• Pinch of cinnamon
• Pinch of nutmeg
• ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• 1 large egg, beaten
1. Slice the eggplant, Japanese or Globe, lengthwise at ¼ inch thickness and skin on. Sprinkle with salt
and let rest for an hour to leech out the bitter liquid. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Fry the eggplant slices in the olive oil until golden on both sides. Eggplant soaks up olive oil, so
you might need a bit more oil. Set aside for later assembly.
DIRECTIONS: Meat Sauce
1. Sautè the onions and garlic with olive oil in the same skillet used for the eggplant. Add the meat
and break up and brown the meat. Add the rest of the meat sauce ingredients, reduce the heat and
simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
DIRECTIONS: Bèchamel Sauce
1. To make a roux for the sauce, put the butter in a sauce pan and add the flour. Stir for 3 minutes to
cook the flour, but do not let it brown. Add the half and half and stir for a minute. Add the
nutmeg and cinnamon and ½ the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the salt and pepper for taste.
Cover the saucepan and set aside.
DIRECTIONS: Final Assembly
1. Liberally coat a baking or casserole dish with olive oil.
a. Place a layer of fried eggplant on the bottom.
b. Top the eggplant with ½ of the meat sauce.
c. Place another layer of fried eggplant
d. Place a layer of the remaining meat sauce
e. Add another layer of the remaining eggplant
f. Add the beaten egg to the now cooled Bèchamel sauce and spread evenly over the top of the last
layer of eggplant.
g. Bake in a 350ºF oven for one hour until the top is golden. Remove from oven and set aside for
h. Sprinkle on top with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
i. Cut into squares and serve.
You can use all lamb or all beef as well for this dish. I have found that the flavor balance of using both
meats is preferable to a majority of my guests. All lamb is a little strong and all beef takes away from a
Mediterranean/Middle Eastern taste.
NOTE: ALTHOUGH NOT THE EXACT RECIPE SHOWN, THE VIDEO BELOW MIGHT BE OF HELP.
HOW TO MAKE MOUSSAKA
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